Twitter is the way to let the world know exactly what you are doing in real time and exchange ideas (or comments on #trending topics) with whoever else is on Twitter with you at that moment. Starbucks wanted to make the Twitter experience a little more useful and has launched their new Tweet-a-Coffee program. This program allows you to instantly tweet a $5 Starbucks gift card to any of your Twitter friends/followers. Once your accounts are linked (since you need a credit card and a Starbucks account) you can simply “@tweetacoffee to @yourfriend” via a tweet! Obviously, this would be a GREAT way for bloggers to do some little giveaways on Twitter – but it’s also a nice way to send a little gift to friends and it doesn’t require you to run out to the store to pick up a physical card.
Obviously, however, this is limited to people who use Twitter and it is only available in the US right now. Will it turn out to be more fun than a “regular” egift card? Only time will tell…. but I might be able to squeeze in a giveaway soon to test it out in the mean time!
Update: I tried the Tweet a Coffee and it worked exactly as advertised. It was especially fun since Starbucks gave out a $5 gift card to the first 100K people to try it (and that mark probably hasn’t been hit yet), so I got a bonus gift for giving to a friend.
You can “pay it forward” any day of the week by doing something kind or generous for a stranger. For instance, you could pay for the drink of the person behind you in line at Starbucks. From October 9-11, you’ll be rewarded for this kindess if you do. Starbucks is encouraging its customers to #payitforward by giving you a free tall brewed coffee if you buy someone else their favorite beverage. I’ve hear that the #payitforward campaign was inspired by the government shutdown – and the fact that most people wish that the two sparring parties would simply come together and get things done, like they were hired to do. Paying it forward is always a nice thing to do, and a little bit of recognition can go a long way.
I do wish, however, that they would promote this more in stores. I happen to have stopped by a total of three stores today and only one was mentioning it to their customers. An extra sign would have been a nice touch to kick off the event – but by Friday, hopefully a lot more people will be involved!
The new La Boulange pastries are starting to roll out at Starbucks stores, first on the West Coast and then heading to the midwest and east coast. Los Angeles, where I’m based, is just starting to see the line pop up at stores and I was lucky enough to stumble into one on the first day of their launch. The pink balloons were to celebrate, since pink is the color of the La Boulange lines, and they were a dead giveaway that something fun was happening in this Starbucks.
As promised, just about every item in the pastry case (with the exception of the cake pops) was replaced with the new and improved La Boulange pastries. They are all served warm, warmed in a special oven that heats them up in just about 7 seconds. The barista told me that it was to “wake up the butter” in the pastries.
Last year, Starbucks acquired San Francisco bakery chain La Boulange, which has been turning out deliciously authentic French pastries since 1999. The plan was to raise the bar for croissants and all of the other pastries in Starbucks cafes by upgrading them, serving more authentic pastries made with the same artisan techniques that La Boulange has been using since its inception. La Boulange did some high volume production in the Bay Area, but it needed to scale up production to be able to supply Starbucks’ west coast stores with pastries before they could be rolled out (and used as a model for other baking facilities across the country) officially. The original estimate suggested that the integration of La Boulange products would take up to five years – but now, at just about 18 months into the project, they are already launching.
Starbucks stores across the country (starting on the West Coast) are turning pink, since pink is the color for the La Boulange branded items. Just about all of the items in the pastry case will be replaced with La Boulange products – from croissants to cakes – and served with pink wrappers in pink bags alongside drinks with pink sleeves. Almost every pastry item will be served warm so you get that fresh baked smell and taste. Lunch items will include warm sandwiches and piadini, and a limited number of prepackaged salads and sandwich kits of sliced meats, greens, etc.
Early reviews are mixed, since a lot of customers feel strongly (for whatever reason) about the color pink and others simply don’t like change and would prefer to stick to the same pastries that have been around for years. Others love the change. The pink is probably a limited time promotion, but La Boulange products will be here to stay, so they’re definitely something to keep any eye out for!